Photo by Adam Majchrzak
|Best months for climbing:||Apr, May, Jun, Jul, Aug, Sep|
|Year first climbed:||1836|
|First successful climber(s):||T. Arbousset and F. Dumas, (French missionaries)|
|Nearest major airport:||Johannesburg or Durban, South Africa|
|Convenient Center:||Phuthaditjaba, or hotels and campsites at the National Park|
Mont-aux-Sources is a mountain block, forming one of the highest and most spectacular portions of the Drakensberg. It includes the Sentinel, a spectacular wall of 1,000 vertical feet. The high point of the massif is actually an inconspicuous protuberance, but it is important in that it forms the triangular corner where Lesotho meets the South African provinces of Natal and Orange Free State.
The mountain is also the source for three major rivers (hence the name Mont-aux-Sources), which in places plunge spectacularly down the mountain wall. Tugela Falls, for example, is a series of five cascades which tumbles nearly 3000 feet over the east wall.
The mountain is part of the Royal Natal National Park, which has a well developed system of marked trails, and includes many freestanding rocks in addition to the challenging walls.
The Sentinel is a commonly climbed peak because there is easy access from the Sentinel Car Park near Witsieshoek. There are a variety of routes up the mountain, ranging from the standard route - a scramble that includes chain ladders - to difficult technical rock climbs. A route guide is available at www.mcsa.org.za.